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Wardenstein

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  1. Hi folks. I wanted to share where interested parties could see some scans of a few of the published articles I once wrote, that talked (at least in part) about doing things like welding various pieces of injection-molded plastic kits together, and modifying pieces made out of thermo-plastics, using a custom-ground "burnisher" style of tip, that fit onto a working end of a wood burning device, that had a separate temperature control device. I am guessing / hoping this threat is not too far off-topic, for this part of these fine and fun forums (the conversion discussion areas) but if the admins decide it's better placed somewhere else, then by all means, please move this thread to wherever it would serve best. Thanks! As background info: I used to write for a publication called "Sci-Fi and Fantasy Modeller". It was a publication out of England, that was (if you are not already familiar with it) sort of a magazine, and almost also sort of a book -- and almost a "soft cover coffee table book," at that, because it was full color throughout; few to no adverts; and had nice, thick, glossy paper. It usually covered models a lot larger than gaming miniatures: such as standard injection molded kits. Plus of course, some modelers who wrote articles for that publication, built things totally from scratch. (On occasion, I was one of those folks.) They are no longer in print, but various places online still have copies of various back issues, etc., for individual sale to the public. Not too long ago, I asked my former editor (Andy Pearson) to pass some emailed messages to the publisher, Mike Reccia, and from those talks came permission for me to release scans of my own articles. I have only scanned in a few of them, so far, but I'm doing so in fairly high scanning resolution, and I'm including, whenever I can, some of the original photos, in their full size. So what I'm saying is that the articles I'm pointing you folks, towards, below, were uploaded by the original author's, with the publisher's knowledge and permission. We are not releasing these articles to the "public domain" or we are not trying to give away any of our rights. I'm just sharing the contents of some articles I wrote, with other hobbyists, who may or may not have seen these particular articles, before. Where are these articles, and what is in them? There is a group on Facebook that caters to the "Sci Fi/Fantasy Scratchbuild and kitbash modeler" -- but please note that, even though the publication's name and the group's name sounds similar, it's not the same thing. It's two entirely different groups of individuals. That group on Facebook has a section for "albums," where members there can upload things. It's under the "media" topic, towards the top of the front page for that group. I uploaded my scans and photos there, grouped by article topic. Here's the link to the "albums" area, where the stuff I uploaded can be found, plus, various collections of photos and et cetera by other people, also got uploaded, for the group's edification: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2043682082594379/media/albums Just in case that link, above, somehow breaks, here's that group's main page link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2043682082594379 Okay ... so ... Here are the (approximate) names of the individual albums where I had uploaded the various articles I had written, on the topic of welding thermo-plastic pieces together, and sort of "re-sculpting" those polystyrene or ABS kit's plastic parts, using an electrically-heated tool: = = = = = = = Album name = "Article Images -- 2010 -- Remodelling Max" https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.318696369930402&type=3 Description: This was the first article I'd written, that was only on that one topic (of using heat to weld and/or re-sculpt plastic). This article was all about what I did, to restore and upgrade an injected plastic evil robot (Max, from the Black Hole film) kit that a dog had chewed on. This article covers pretty much all of the basics of using that tool I used; including my notes on how and why I custom-ground that tip; and what the various "zones" on that very useful tip were supposed to accomplish: cutting, joining, smoothing, and so on. = = = = = = = Album name = "Article Images -- 2013 -- Hoppertunity Scratchbuild" https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.2975532582727553&type=3 Description: This was, as I saw it, part two on that theme of using heat to weld plastic parts together. This article has lots of info about a lot of different ways to scratch-build various sub-assemblies for a vehicular subject, but the project could not have been done (at least not as well, I don't think) without that technique of using a special, custom-ground tip, on a "Hot Tools" brand wood-burner, to basically re-sculpt plastic. = = = = = = = Album name = "Article Images -- 2013 -- Steampunk Hornethopeter diorama" https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.551736562630233&type=3 Description: There isn't much in this article, on that topic (of welding plastic, using electrically-heated devices) but there is some. Mainly, with a deadline looming, I had showed that some "delicate surgery" could be done: that is was possible to convert and/or re-pose plastic "army men" figures, from various kits, using that tool and that technique. Previous to this article I had mainly used the technique to modify larger objects, which had a lot more surface area; and thus, the bigger parts naturally "rejected heat" (to a point: care still needs to be taken, to avoid badly warping things) so adding a figure to a small diorama, to an article that was mostly about a really nice multi-media kit, was a bonus. = = = = = = = Album name = "Trash Bashing -- 2011 Contest -- Deodorant Container Gaming Vehicles" https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.534922627535179&type=3 Description: This one is most directly on-topic for these forums: it's showing deodorant containers, turned into home-brewed vehicles that could have been used for tabletop games. This one was never released as an article in that English magazine or book (a "mook," as the publisher sometimes referred to it) since it was sort of a "between articles" project I did, when Brian Roe ran a cool contest for enthusiasts of trash-bashing. (But it is pictured in "Ravage" magazine, page 65, April-May 2013 edition.) Even though I wasn't doing the build as an official "article," per se, I had taken photos as if I were -- (more or less just out of habit) -- so turning it into an article, a decade later, became a thing that was possible. The folks over at that group on Facebook seemed to like seeing those other article scans I had uploaded, so I searched for those older photos, on my older computers. I uploaded those images, and commented on each photo, to turn it into a pseudo-article. = = = = = = = My intent with uploading this info is to share some ideas with Modelers and Gamers; of possible use to them. I have no idea if these tips or tricks can be used with plastic types that I did not play with, but I suspect that the general ideas should be applicable to a lot of situations, with some modifications in terms of how long to linger on any given area, with the tool's heated tip, and so on. Note that this trick is very likely NOT going to work with resin pieces, since they are not "thermo-plastics". But as the trash-bashing article showed me, a decade ago, the idea that thermo-plastics can be heated up and given new shapes, is well worth exploring. (With of course, one eye firmly kept on the user's or modeller's safety -- just as with the idea of using sharp knives, or various glues or paints, and so on, in this hobby we all like so much!)
  2. Hi folks. I wanted to mention a material that some of you folks might like to know a little more about. It's basically just a fancy type of a wire -- but my opinion is that it's way better than any other wire type that I have personally tried, to date. (Meaning whatever wires I had laying around -- to include what many folks might be tempted to use: paper clip wires, and/or brass rods or wires from hobby shops. If there is some company selling wires for armature uses, or pinning, or what not, then I'm not aware of that; and thus am not putting their products down.) Why do I feel it is fancier and more easily worked, compared to some "more common" types of wires? Mainly because it is "annealed" at the factory -- to very exacting standards -- and "annealing" is a form of "softening" a metal, using heat. Annealed metal is far more workable than that particular metal would normally be. It is also more resistant to breaking, due to being repeatedly bent, back and forth (metal fatigue). The stuff I'm talking about here is made to "mil-spec" standards, or to put it another way, it's an aerospace grade material. It's literally made to be twisted tightly together, to lock mechanical parts firmly in place, so that they won't fall off of big / heavy / fast-moving things that might be subject to heavy shock loads, or constant vibration, or similar: everything from racing motorcycles to various aircraft types. I'm buying it in one pound (of USA weight) containers, from a specific seller on eBay. What that comes out to, in wire length, I don't know: but it's a lot! I picked up four containers of it, in various diameters (as listed below) and so far I'm finding lots of nifty uses for it, with my hobbies -- but note that I normally work in sizes / scales that are larger than the tiniest miniatures. To me, though, it looks like "it would work" for minis; at least in the smaller diameters. I mainly bought the larger diameters to sort of "have a complete set" since the smaller stuff, I had loved. This is all just one person's impressions, mind you, but so far it looks to me like it would have a lot of utility as a "pinning" style of wire; or perhaps for making wire armatures for various sculpting tasks; and I'm thinking that if a person was doing larger scale sculpting (such as for terrain, etc.) it might even be handy for making the "working heads" of homemade sculptor's "loop tools". Depending on what a person wanted to have, shape-wise, the thicker stuff might even make good replacements for things like toothpicks, if a person was trying to "sculpt a custom tool tip" onto something that would be sturdy enough to take some abuse, while "getting around corners" while sculpting, and etc. In terms of the actual diameter of the wires I purchased and have played with: The thinnest of the wire I purchased is 0.021 inches (or 0.53 mm) in diameter; and then the next step upwards (in diameter) is 0.032 inches (or 0.81 mm); and then the next bigger container's wire was 0.041 inches (or 1.04 mm); and finally, the fourth container I purchased was 0.051 inches (or 1.30 mm). My guess is that for 54 mm scales / sizes or smaller, the thinnest stuff might make a decent armature wire for standard "human" style figures, but the thicker stuff would probably be too large in diameter, in areas like the figure's ankles? Especially if a person is twisting up multi-strand bundles? But figures vary, too, in how big they are supposed to be, so maybe that's not a concern for everyone? I've experimented with what I bought, and I've found that if I use a household drill motor as a twisting aide, I can create multi-strand lengths of it that are "arm's length" or longer, with no problems -- at least with the smaller two of the diameters I've purchased -- and my guess is that, for most of the uses I'd ever used this wire for, having multiple strands of it is "Severe Over-Kill Deluxe". (Which is a good thing!) Anyway, the stuff I'm using is made by a company called "WCS" which is short for "Wire and Cable Specialties, Inc." and the package's name for the wire is "Safety Lock Wire". There are other markings on the container: mostly showing the diameter of that particular container's wire, and the various military and/or aerospace specifications the product was made to conform with. The company's web site is listed as follows: Other folk's "mileage" may vary, but personally, I love this stuff; and I am hoping that others here might like trying it, for various tasks.
  3. As far as priming Bones models goes: has anyone besides me tried the Mission Models brand of primer? It is fast becoming my go-to primer for a bunch of things, lately. After reading the company's FAQ on the product and using it on some other things, including some resin garage kit pieces, and on some random charity-shop kid's toys (and thus, of unknown-to-me plastic types) and really liking the results, I wanted to do more torture tests on it, as a product, related to gaming minis. I mixed up a small amount (you HAVE to use their specific "thinner" which is that, plus an "activator") and then I hand-brushed it on a Were-armadillo Bones model. I hand-brushed on some wash products by Games Workshop (mostly to have something on top of the primer) and then I waited about two hours; and tossed it into what car modelers call the "Purple Pond". That is, a small vat (plastic container) of industrial degreaser -- in my case, I used a fresh batch of the "Purple Power" brand of degreaser. It was a torture test because the stuff is strong enough to (among other things, like doing harm to one's unprotected skin!) sort of "melt" or chemically "erase" the "chrome" coating on injected plastic car model kit's sprues (chrome wheels and/or engine parts, bumper parts, etc.) ... and I'd only given the Mission Models brand of primer a couple of hours to cure. (I had read somewhere that half an hour was sufficient, but I couldn't wrap my head around that idea, so I shrugged and gave it a "worst case scenario" situation, to see how well it might survive.) The primer survived just fine -- somewhat to my glee, and mildly to my shock -- but of course the wash products did not. Those were starting to "melt" within moment of initial immersion, into that harsh paint-stripping chemical. I gave the Bones model a "bath" for about, I think it was, three hours -- but the primer coating stayed intact. I'm a new person here, and I only tested one product on one Bones mini, and other's mileage might vary, so I'm not saying anyone who habitually uses primer products on things should automatically take my word for any of this. I do hope some other people give that primer (and the associated "thinner") a try, and report on their results. Oh, and one last thought: I had also used some Magic Sculpt product, to fill any gaps. Since it was more of a test piece than a "real" project, I made some modifications to the Bones mini's base, too. My intent with that was to see how well Magic Sculp or Sculpt (it's sometimes spelled either way) stuck to the plastic used on Bones minis; and also, how well that seam-filling and modification product "survived" the dunking in the Purple Pond. (Which it did, quite nicely, as well.) As a side benefit: the color and "value" (the relative lightness or darkness, visually) of Magic Sculpt is a pretty close match to white Bones plastic. For what it's worth, I learned about the Mission Models brands of paint in book three (about a Gundam model) of the "single model" series by Rinaldi Studio Press ... Any other commenters out there want to give those two products a try, and report back on their findings?
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